Joel Embiid Steers Clear of the Game 6 Injury Report
The Philadelphia 76ers officially enter their first do-or-die situation for the 2019 NBA Season. As Game 6 against the Toronto Raptors approaches, the Sixers have to do everything they can to stay alive. A loss on Thursday night and they start clearing out their lockers this weekend. A win at home and they force a Game 7 and will head back up North for one more matchup to decide the series.
The last time these two teams met, the Sixers played their most uninspiring four quarters of basketball in the postseason yet. They took a beatdown, which forced Philly to wave throw in the towel early and bench the starters midway through the fourth quarter. While the Sixers looked cooked over the last two games, they have one more opportunity to get back on track, and they will need all hands on deck to do so.
Despite having a few critical injuries throughout this series against the Raptors, the Sixers' injury report looks clear as of Thursday afternoon. Mike Scott's heel is right, and Joel Embiid's knee has been okay. However, Embiid has still been a handful for the Sixers to deal with over the last week and a half. He hasn't been struggling with his knee tendinitis. Instead, he's been dealing with health issues.
First, he had gastroenteritis two weeks ago. Then, he came down with an upper respiratory infection this past weekend. Embiid's sudden sickness from Sunday's game seemingly crossed over into the Game 5 matchup as well. With back to back underwhelming performances, Embiid must get back on track to keep the Sixers alive. So far, there haven't been any updates on Embiid's health, but the fact that he's steered clear of the injury report is somewhat of a positive sign.
The Sixers will take the court at some point on Thursday afternoon, and the hope is that Embiid is present for the shootaround this time. On Tuesday, Brett Brown and the coaching staff allowed Embiid to stay rested at the team hotel in Toronto, so he could be as energized as possible for the game. Clearly, that method didn't do much. This time around, they are hopeful that Embiid can be somewhat close to one-hundred percent. The Sixers obviously need their big man feeling better, and without him, their chances of beating the Raptors won't be too promising.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_